A Republican senator from Illinois said Thursday he had asked permission from the mother of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton to name his gun-safety legislation after the girl.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill) said in a statement that he met with some Illinois families who lost loved ones to gun violence and asked the permission of Cleopatra Pendleton, the girl’s mother. She and others whose relatives died from gunfire had attended Tuesday’s State of the Union speech.
A Kirk spokesman said he understood Hadiya’s parents to be “receptive” to the idea and added: “We will work with them on it.”
Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed on the South Side on Jan. 29, days after she marched with her high school band in President Obama’s Inauguration Day parade.
The day after her shooting, Kirk and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced a bill to make gun trafficking a federal crime and to end so-called straw purchases of guns in order to dry up the supply of guns to what he termed “dangerous drug gangs.” A straw purchase occurs when someone buys a gun on behalf of another person, usually someone who could not pass a federal background check.
The lawmakers called their measure the first bipartisan gun-safety bill of the new Congress.
Kirk, who returned to work Jan. 3 nearly a year after he suffered a major stroke, said today that one of his top priorities this year is to pass the bill.
“For Hadiya and thousands of other victims of gun violence, we must break through the typical Washington process and actually get something done that will save lives,” his statement said.